Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) Garden

For the 2018 Presidential Grant it would be not only aesthetically beautiful for the members of our college community, but incredibly sustainable for Union to plant a milkweed garden in front of Schaffer library (rather than the present lack luster shrubbery). Now you might be asking–why milkweed? What’s so cool about milkweed? Can this plant produce both milk AND weed? Well no, BUT milkweed is the sole plant monarch caterpillars are able to eat and the only plant monarch butterflies lay their eggs in. The monarch population since the mid 1990s has been invariably decreasing and this is directly due to the deforestation of the milkweed plant.

In a recent U.S. Geological survey they have found that we will need to plant an additional 1.8 billion milkweed stems in North America in hopes of restoring the monarch community to what it once was. This is an especially important mission for those who live in the United States because the monarch butterfly is our national butterfly(; although, this job should not be the sole burden of the United States and the monarch butterfly should not be the only insect we work to repopulate because of its’ national status). This planting would be relatively inexpensive (6 milkweed seed packets for only $18 on amazon with that student prime!), extremely impactful to the monarch population, and beautify our campus further.¬†For more information on the falling monarch population in North America click on the graph below:

4 thoughts on “Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) Garden

  1. This is a great idea. I personally have been interested in monarch butterflies for about a year now. It is really devastating to see the population of these beautiful insects decline. I think that the milk weed plant would be a great use of the grant and most likely we will be able to plant a lot of milkweed plants as they are pretty inexpensive.

  2. I think this is a great idea that is very unique. I think helping the monarch population would be a great idea for union’s campus. The cost of the seeds are also fairly inexpensive. My only thought against it would be how Union benefits from this? I think the school would need to see better benefits for them to invest in the project.

  3. This is honestly a great idea, because not only will it improve the look of our campus but it will also improve our ecological footprint. I believe that the decrease in insect population could have dire consequences on human beings because without them we could face dangerous viruses and new predators. We as a college and as humans should place a stronger emphasis on protecting nature and the environment than on the superficial things we use in everyday life.

  4. Your proposal is extremely thought out and feasible. I think it stands as one of the best options for proposal with the amount of money allocated for it and the feasibility of actually getting accepted. Being able to help sustain a population as well as make our campus even more pretty is a great combination, well done.

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